Thursday, December 08, 2016

Countdown to Christmas, day 8

So Kailana (The Written Word) and I are teaming up again...this time to celebrate CHRISTMAS. 25 days of answering questions! You are definitely welcome to join in on the fun!
The movie I'm looking forward to watching this Christmas season... 

Muppet Christmas Carol.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Maybe a Fox

Maybe a Fox. Kathi Appelt. 2016. 272 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: From under her covers, Jules Sherman listened for her sister, Sylvie, to walk out of their room.

Premise/plot: Can this book be summarized into a sentence or two? I'll try. Jules and Sylvie are two sisters that are close as can be, yet, in some ways as different as night and day. Jules is more than a little obsessed with collecting rocks, with collecting wishing rocks. Sylvie is more than a little obsessed with running. Her one big wish in life is to run fast, fast, FAST. Jules can't fathom the "why" of it. One winter morning, Sylvie breaks one of her father's many rules. And she does so ultimately at the cost of her life. Jules is alone and not alone. There is her father, of course, her friend, Sam, and, then there is a FOX.

My thoughts: I am of two opinions with this one. On the one hand, I think WHY DO WE NEED ANOTHER SAD BOOK. WHY DOES EVERY BOOK HAVE TO BE SO VERY SAD?! This one doesn't just have a sad twist, it's sad practically cover to cover. On the other hand, I can't deny that it is written quite well. I really loved The Underneath by Kathi Appelt. This I didn't love. Not even close. But not because it was poorly written. It was written well. Not because it lacked creativity. It was definitively unique. Not because the characters were one-dimensional. I found myself liking the characters and finding them developed. I simply didn't "need" or "want" another sad book in my life.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Countdown to Christmas, day 7

So Kailana (The Written Word) and I are teaming up again...this time to celebrate CHRISTMAS. 25 days of answering questions! You are definitely welcome to join in on the fun!
The album I'm looking forward to listening to this Christmas season... 

Matt Redman's These Christmas Lights




© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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The Hammer of Thor

The Hammer of Thor. Rick Riordan. 2016. 471 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Lesson learned: If you take a Valkyrie out for coffee, you'll get stuck with the check and a dead body.

Premise/plot: Magnus Chase and his friends are back for a second save-the-world adventure. In this one, they must find a way to retrieve Thor's Hammer and keep a dangerous sword out of the hands of Loki, a sword that would free him. It won't be easy--lives will be put on the line more than once. But they've got a new sidekick, Alex, a son-daughter of Loki. Alex is gender-fluid. From what readers are told, his/her gender isn't something that she/he decides from one minute to the next. Literally, Alex could wake up female and go to bed male. Even throughout one day--there could be a lot of fluidity. This is something that Alex embraces and champions. Alex is, as you can imagine, a bit defensive and very opinionated. Other sidekicks include Samirah al-Abbas (Loki's daughter, a devout Muslim), Hearthstone (deaf elf) and Blitzen (dwarf). There are others--his neighbors--but Sam, Hearth, Blitz, and Alex are essentially his team.

My thoughts: I liked it okay. I didn't love, love, love it. It had its moments. It did. I wish now I'd marked which passages or scenes I liked or loved. I have a feeling that would give me a better sense of how I really "feel" about this one. I think if you're in the right mood, and, if you don't mind a representation of Thor that leaves him wanting, then this one could satisfy. Riordan's THOR is night and day different from THOR from the Marvel movies. And having just rewatched all the movies, it just left me disgruntled.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Countdown to Christmas, day 6

So Kailana (The Written Word) and I are teaming up again...this time to celebrate CHRISTMAS. 25 days of answering questions! You are definitely welcome to join in on the fun!

The book I'm most looking forward to reading this Holiday season...

I've got 2 new advent books this year: From Heaven by A.W. Tozer and Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room by Nancy Guthrie. I'm looking forward to rereading Doomsday Book by Connie Willis!


© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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